My guess is your family loves Family Day.
Family Day was started in Ontario in 2007 in an effort to give families one more day off to spend together each year.
You might have built a snowman, watched movies, gone skiing, gone for a hike or just hung out and made pancakes. But whatever you did, my guess is in some (maybe even small way), it drew you closer together.
Ever wish every day was more like Family Day?
Maybe it can be. Here’s how.
Here are 5 Family Values that we talk about and try to live out at Connexus every week.
We think these values not only have promise for us as a church, but they have some real value for you as parents regardless of how old or young your kids are.
When you live out these values every day, I think every day might feel a little bit more like Family Day.
1. Widen the Circle
A parent is the most important influence in a child’s life, but you’re not the only influence your child needs. I’ll bet some of you invited grandparents over, or maybe got together with neighbours.
You know what you did (instinctively)? You widened the circle for your kids.
That’s awesome. Every child needs another voice saying the same thing a loving parent would say.
So pursue some strategic relationships with other adults who can make an impact on your kids’ lives.
At Connexus, we add to that circle by giving every child and teen a small group leader who knows them by name. Get to know your son’s small group leader when you come on Sundays.
And guess what? With a wider circle of influence, you won’t feel so alone as a parent. And your child or teen will have other adults building into them.
2. Imagine the End
Your kids won’t be young forever (really).
Instead of only asking what your child is going to do when he or she grows up, start asking a different question: Who do I want my kids to become?
See, on a day like family day you get to build into the faith and character of your kids. You’re helping them become somebody in terms of their faith and character.
Keep that in mind every day. Because your son or daughter brings who they are into everything they do.
As you raise them, take moments to teach faith and character. Imagine the end; that moment when you launch them into life somewhere between 18-21 and ask yourself, who do I want them to be?
3. Fight for the Heart
Time to tell the truth. You probably fought a bit today, didn’t you?
Well, there are two ways to fight.
You can fight with each other. Or you can fight for each other.
When you fight with each other, in order for you to win you need someone else to lose.
But when you fight for each other, suddenly you don’t want to win—you want the other person to win. You might still have an issue, but you want them to win. You fight for them, not with them.
I think God’s vision of family is for us to fight for each other, in the same way he fought for us in Jesus Christ.
Can you imagine what family life would be like if spouses for each other, and kids fought for the heart of their parents and parents fought for the hearts of their children?
We just want you to know that as you fight for each other we’re fighting for your family at Connexus.
4. Create a Rhythm
Probably the best thing about a day off is the rhythm you enjoy as a family. You finally have time for what matters most.
You might even have had some time to pray together, read a Bible story together or talk about something that mattered.
One of the most practical ways to make every day feel more like family day is to create a quantity of quality time in your every day life.
Make time for God and time for each other, every day. Don’t just wait for holidays.
Say a prayer and encourage each other in the morning when you get up.
Sit down and have dinner together 3, 4 or 5 times a week. Turn off the phones and tv and pray together before your meal.
Read a Bible story together with your kids at mealtime or bedtime.
Talk about life, faith and what matters most when you’re driving together in the car. This works especially well with teens.
But if you integrate time together with each other and with God into every day life, your family will be stronger for it.
But the way, if you have kids in WaumbaLand or Upstreet, we send things home every month for you to do with your kids. Look for them when you pick up your kids each Sunday.
5. Make it Personal
Finally, one of the reasons Family Day and time off can be so rewarding is because you’re also resting.
When it comes to personal growth, your health as a parent matters to your kids. Parents who are spiritually, emotionally, physically, relationally and even financially healthy can lead their kids better.
We live in a culture where most adults are exhausted and even Christian parents end up running on fumes. Don’t.
Here are some things you can do to change that dynamic:
Get some sleep. Rested parents are almost always better parents.
Read your Bible. (Here’s a piece I wrote to help you kick start your devotional life.)
Date your spouse. Go out for dates regularly. A healthy marriage is one of the best gifts you can give your kids.
Take care of yourself. Go for a walk, a run or hit the gym.
Reduce financial stress. (We are offering a new Financial Learning Experience in May 2014. Watch for details.)
When it comes to parenting, never be afraid to put your personal growth first. Your kids will thank you for it later.
We love families at Connexus. And those are 5 ways we think families can help integrate the meaningful times that come on days like Family Day into everyday. It’s a partnership we want to fuel with you every single week.
What helps your family connect personally and spiritually?